Les Bleus are under pressure at a few hours of the quarter-finals against Uruguay. After the crazy match against Argentina, France must win for a place in the Semi-Finals
Les Bleus have shown against Argentina that they had in the stomach, and it is with guts that they now have to subdue the rough Uruguay in the quarterfinals of the Mondial-2018 Friday in Nizhny Novgorod (4pm French Time), to achieve their goal.
If the French team sent Lionel Messi back to his Barcelona studies, Celeste dominated the Portuguese European champion led by Cristiano Ronaldo (2-1). Another (big) effort to provide to face in the semifinals the winner of Brazil-Belgium played Friday night. Because the last square is the goal enacted by the French Federation (FFF).
Its president Noël Le Graët assures in parallel since weeks that Didier Deschamps will be maintained until the end of his contract in 2020, “whatever happens” . It must be said that the eighth-final anthology against Argentina (4-3) last Saturday in Kazan, which rocked France’s football, has screwed a little more DD at its seat.
But stopping in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, as in 2014, and against Uruguay, which was not one of the leading favorites, would inevitably leave a bitter taste of unfinished for the vice-champions of Europe, when all minds are turned to the “second star” after that of 1998 …
Especially as Edinson Cavani, top scorer in the history of Paris SG and author of both goals against Portugal, is very uncertain because of edema left calf. The “Matador” trained on Thursday for the first time since his injury. Girona striker Cristhian Stuani is expected to replace him.
“Sorry, you’re not going to have the information, like me I do not have the information of who will replace the player suspended on the French side” (Blaise Matuidi): the coach Oscar Tabarez dribbled the media in a press conference .
“If he is not here, it will not change the face of Uruguay,” had previously relativized Deschamps. “The quality of Cavani is certainly above that of many other forwards, but that does not mean that Stuani and (Cristian) Rodriguez have any qualities, even if they are different.”
Remains especially Luis Suarez, attacker still biting. Tuesday, he beat Antoine Griezmann cold, this Latino adoption: “He does not know the dedication and efforts that the Uruguayans have since their childhood to be able to succeed in football, despite the few people we are” , 3.5 million people for the very first world champion (1930, then 1950) and holder of the record of coronations in Copa America (15).
The Celeste is also an iron defense, which conceded only two goals in its last nine games, while committing very few mistakes. “The more the competition advances towards the final, the more the games are tactical. It will be more closed. And Uruguay has not cashed any goals in chickens, “said AFP Lilian Thuram.
Les Bleus themselves have often stumbled on the famous “garra charrua”, this esprit de corps made of fighting spirit and rage to conquer: eight hours accumulated without marking against these South-Americans! In the last five meetings, there was a 1-0 French defeat and four 0-0 draws. Which, besides, the first of Deschamps at the head of the team of France, in August 2012 in Le Havre. It would not be a question of closing the loop …
“The match is going to be boring”
The Uruguayans “will take their time, fall, go to see the referee (the Argentine Nestor Pitana, ed), the match will be boring,” warns Griezmann who will rub the central hinge Godin-Gimenez side with the Atlético Madrid. This is an appointment more than ever cut for Grizou, author until now of a halftone tournament, just lit by two penalties.
But also for Olivier Giroud , always aimless in the competition and who is late in overtaking Zinedine Zidane in the ranking of the top scorers in the French team (4th tie with 31 goals): his aerial game in the heart of the dense celestial block could prove precious.
Kylian Mbappé, he will necessarily be expected after his exploits against Argentina that have twisted the football world and were rented by King Pele. But the 19-year-old Parisian will probably have less space than Kazan to exploit his speed. “Despite everything he does well, he is still learning,” said Deschamps.
The other holders of the fair Tatar must logically be renewed. It remains to replace Blaise Matuidi, suspended. Corentin Tolisso presents the most natural candidature.